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My dear countrymen, Namaskar. Generally, this period is full of festivals; fairs are held at various places; it’s the time for religious ceremonies too. During these times of Corona crises, on the one hand people are full of exaltation and enthusiasm too; and yet in a way there’s also a discipline that touches our heart. Broadly speaking in a way, there is a feeling of responsibility amongst citizens. People are getting along with their day to day tasks, while taking care of themselves and others as well. At every event being organised in the country, the kind of patience and simplicity being witnessed this time is unprecedented. Even Ganeshotsav is being celebrated online at certain places; at most places eco-friendly Ganesh idols have been installed. Friends, if we observe very minutely, one thing will certainly draw our attention- our festivals and the environment.There has always been a deep connect between the two. On the one hand, our festivals implicitly convey the message of co-existence with the environment and nature; on the other, many festivals are celebrated precisely for protecting nature. For example, in West Champaran district of Bihar, people belonging to Thaaru tribal community have been observing a sixty-hour lockdown for centuries…..in their own words- ‘SaathghantekeBarna’. The Thaaru community has adopted BARNA as a tradition for protection of nature; that too for centuries. During this period, neither does anyone enter the village, nor leave home,and they believe that if they step out or if someone enters from elsewhere, the to and fro movement along with other routine activities of people can lead to the destruction of new plants and trees.Our tribal brothers and sisters begin the Barna lockdown with a grand worship and conclude with jestful traditional tribal songs, music and dance programmes.

Friends, these days, the festival of Onam is also being celebrated with gaiety and fervour. This festival arrives in the month of Chingam. During this period, people buy something new, decorate their homes, prepare Pookalam and enjoy Onam-Saadiya… variety of games and competitions are also held. The zest of Onam today has reached distant shores of foreign lands. Be it America, Europe or Gulf countries, the verve of Onam can be felt everywhere. Onam is increasingly turning out to be an international festival.

Friends, Onam is a festival linked with our agriculture. It is also the time of a new beginning for our rural economy. Our lives, our society derive sustenance from the fortitude of farmers. Their perseverance lends myriad hues to our festivals.

In the Vedas too, our food provider, Annadaata, the life sustaining shakti of our farmers has been gloriously venerated. There is a mantra in Rigved –

AnnanamPatayeNamah
KshetranamPatayeNamah
Which means,
Bow to the food provider
Salute to the farmer.

Even during these trying times of Corona, our farmers have proven their mettle. This time around in our country, sowing of kharif crops has increased by 7 percent comparedto last year. The sowing of paddy has increased by approximately 10 percent, pulses close to 5 percent, coarse cereals almost 3 percent, oilseeds around 13 percent and cotton nearly 3 percent. For this I extend felicitations to the farmers of our country…I salute their perseverance.

My dear countrymen, during this time period of Corona, the country is fighting on many fronts simultaneously. But at the same time, the question that frequently comes to mind is, how my young little friends are spending their time while they remain homebound for so long.
And this is why, I, together with the Children University of Gandhinagar, a unique experiment in the world, Indian government’s Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises, pondered and deliberated over, what we cando for our children. It was a very useful and pleasant experience for me, because in a way it became an opportunity for me to know and learn something new.

Friends, the subject that we contemplated over was - toys and especially Indian toys. We discussedhow to make new toys available to the children of India, how India could become a big hub of toy production. By the way, I apologize to the parents, listening to ‘Mann Ki Baat', as, after this, they might face an additional task of hearing out new demands for toys. Friends, whereas toys augment activity, they also give flight to our aspirations. Toys, not only entertain, they also build the mind and foster an intent too. I read somewhere whatGurudev Rabindranath Tagore had said about toys, the best toy is that which is incomplete; a toy that children together complete while playing. Gurudev Tagore had said that during his childhood, he used to make his own toys and games with his friends, with materials available at home, using his own imagination. But, one day elders interfered with those fun-filled moments of childhood. It so happened that one of his friends brought a big and beautiful foreign toy. Now, all their attention was more on flaunting the toy than the game. That toy became the centre of attraction for everyone, not the game. The child who hitherto used to play and mingle with everyone, and remain immersed in the game; the same child started to act aloof. In a way, the feeling of being distinct from the rest of the children, took over his mind. In that expensive toy, there was nothing to create; nor was anything to learn. That is, an appealing toy had subdued, veiled and withered a brilliant child.This toy exuded pomposity, it exhibited wealth and a little nobility, but it curtailed the growth and grooming of the child's creative spirit. The toy remained, but the game was over and the blossoming of the child stopped too. Therefore, Gurudev used to say that, toys should be such that they bring out the childhood of a child and also his or her creativity. In the National Education Policy, a lot of attention has been given on the impact of toys on different aspects of children's lives. Learning while playing, learning to make toys, visiting toy factories, all these have been made part of the curriculum.Friends, there has been a rich tradition of local toys in our country. There are many talented and skilled artisans who possess expertise in making good toys. Some parts of India are developing also as Toy clusters, that is, as centres of toys. Like, Channapatna in Ramnagaram in Karnataka, Kondaplli in Krishna in Andhra Pradesh, Thanjavur inTamilnadu, Dhubari in Assam, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh – there are many such places, we can count many names. You will be surprised to know that the Global Toy Industry is of more than 7 lakh crore rupees. Such a big business of 7 lakh crore rupees but, India’s share is very little in this. Now, just spare a thought for a nation which has so much of heritage, tradition, variety, young population, will it feel good to have such little share in the toy market?Not at all, you too won’t feel good after hearing this. Friends, the toy Industry is very vast. Be it cottage industries, small industries, MSMEs and along with this big industries and private entrepreneurs too come in the ambit of this. The country will have to persevere together to promote this. Further like, there is Mr. C V Raju in Vishakhapatnam of Andhra Pradesh. Once the Eti- Koppakaa toys of his village were very popular. The speciality of these toys - these were made of wood, and secondly, you would not find any angles or corners in these toys anywhere. These toys were round from all sides hence there was no scope for injury to children. C V Raju has now started a sort of a new movement for eti-koppakaa toys along with the artisans of his village. By making excellent quality eti-koppakaa toys C V Raju has brought back the lost glory of these local toys. We can do two things through toys – bring back the glorious past in our lives and also spruce up our golden future. To my start-up friends, to our new entrepreneurs I say- Team up for toys… let us make toys together. For everybody it is the time to get vocal for local toys. Come, let us make some good quality toys for our youth.Toys should be such that in their presence childhood blooms and smiles. Let us make toys which are favourable to the environment too.

Friends, similarly in this era of computers and smartphones, there is a big trend of computer games. These games are played by children and grownups as well. But even in these games, their themes are mostly extraneous. Our country has so many ideas, so many concepts;our history has been very rich. Can we make games based on that? I call upon the young talent of the country - make games in India and make games based on India too. It is also said, Let the game begin! So; let us start the game.

Friends, be it virtual games, be it the sector of toys in the self-reliant India campaign, all have to play very important role, and therein lies an opportunity too. A hundred years ago when the Non-cooperation movement started, Gandhi ji had written – “Non-cooperation movement is aneffort to make countrymen realise their self-respect and their power”.
Today, when we are trying to make the country self-reliant, we have to move with full confidence; and make the country self-reliant in everyarea. A seed that was sown in the form of the Non-cooperationmovement, it is now the responsibility of all of us to transform it into banyan tree of self-reliant India.

My dear countrymen, everyone acknowledges the capability of Indians to offer innovation and solutions, when there is dedication and sensitivity, this power becomes limitless. At the beginning of this month an app innovation challenge was put before the youth of the country. Our youth participated enthusiastically in this AatmaNirbhar Bharat App innovation challenge. Around 7 thousand entries were received; of these too, nearly two thirds have been made by the youth of tier two and tier three cities. This is a very auspicious indication for self-reliant India, for future of the country. You will definitely be impressed on seeing the results of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat App innovation challenge. After a lot of scrutiny, awards have been given to around two dozen Apps in different categories. Do familiarise yourselves with these Apps and connect with them. It is possible that you too get inspired to make something like that. Among these there is an App ‘KutukiKids Learning app. This is an interactive app for children in which they can easily learn many aspects of mathsand science through songs and stories. In this, there are activities too and games as well. Similarly, there is also an app for micro blogging platform. Its name is kuKOO..ku. In this we can place our opinion and interact in our mother tongue through text, video or audio. Similarly,Chingari App too is getting popular among the youth. There is an app Ask Sarkar. In this you can interact through chat bot and can get right information about any government scheme - that too throughall the threeways- text, audio and video.It can be a great help to you. There is another app called, Step Set Go. This is a fitness app and it keeps a track of how much you walked, how many calories you burnt; it keeps track of the data and also motivates you to stay fit. I have mentioned just a few examples. Many more apps have also won this challenge. There are many business apps and also gaming apps such as IsEqualTo, Books & Expense, Zoho Workplaceand FTC Talent. Search about them on the Net and you will find a lot of information about these apps. Step forward – innovate some; implement some. Your efforts as today's small start-ups will transform intobig companies tomorrow and become mark of India in the world. And you should not forget that the big companies which exist in the world today, were also, once, start-ups.
Dear countrymen, for our children and our students to display their optimum potential, show their mettle; Nutrition and proper nourishment as well play a very big role. The month of September will be observed as Nutrition Monthin the entire nation. Nation and Nutrition are very closely inter-related. We have a maxim - "YathaAnnam Tatha Mannam," which meansour mental and intellectual development is directly related to the quality of our food intake. Experts are of the opinion that the better nutrition a child imbibes in the womb and during childhood, greater is the mental development and he/she remains healthy. It is equally important that for children to be well nourished, the mother also receivespropernourishment. And nutrition merely does not only imply what you eat but also how much you eat and how often you eat. This means whether you are getting essential nutrients.Are you getting Iron, Calcium or not? Sodium or not? Vitamins or not? All these are very important aspects of Nutrition.

In this movement pertaining to nutrition, people’s participation is also very crucial. It is public participation that makes it successful. In our country during the past few years,a lot of effort has been made in this direction.Especially in our villages, it is being converted into a mass movement with public participation. Whether it is the nutrition week or the nutrition month, more and more awareness is being generated through these measures. Schools have been integrated. Efforts are being made to ensure competitions for children, attempts are being made to increase awareness too. Just like there is a Class Monitor in the section, there should be a Nutrition Monitor in a similar manner and just like a report card, a Nutrition Card should also be introduced. These are some of the measures that are being initiated. During the course of the Nutrition Month, a food and nutrition quiz will also be organized on the MyGov portal, and there will be a meme competition as well. So do participate and motivate others too.Friends, if you have had the opportunity to visit the Statue of Unity of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat, and when it opens after Covid Pandemic ends, you will have the opportunity to visit this spot. A unique kind of nutrition park has been created there. You can witness for yourselvesnutrition related education along with fun and frolic.

Friends, India is a vast country with a lot of diversity in food and drink. There are six different seasons in our country, different regions produce diversecrops according to the respective climate. Therefore, it is very important that according to the season of a particular region, a well-balanced & nutrient rich, diet plan should be drafted to include local foodgrains, fruits and the vegetables cultivated there. Now for example. Millets including coarse grains likeRagi/Finger Millet and Jowar/ Sorghum...these are very beneficial nutritious food. An Agricultural Fund of India is being created, it will have complete information about the crops, that are grown in each district and their related nutritional value. This fund can be of great use for all of you. Come, let us inspire one and all to eat nutritious food and stay healthy during the nutrition month.

Dear countrymen, a few weeks ago, while we were celebrating our Independence Day, an interesting news caught my attention. This is the news of two brave hearts of our security forces. One is Sophie and the other Vida. Sophie and Vida are the dogs of the Indian Army who have been awarded the Chief of Army Staff 'Commendation Cards'. Sophie and Vida received this honour because they performed their duties diligently while protecting their country. Our armed forces and security forces have many such brave dogs who not only live for the country but also sacrifice themselves for the country. Such canines have played a very important role in thwartingnumerous bomb blasts and terrorist conspiracies. Some time ago I got to know in great detail about the role of dogs in the security of the country and also got to hear many stories too.One such canine named Balaramsniffed out ammunition on the route of the AmarnathYatra. Dog, Bhavana searched out IEDin 2002. During unearthing the IED, terrorists triggered an explosion and brave dog were martyred. Two or three years ago in BijapurChattisgarh, a sniffer dogCracker of CRPF also attained martyrdomin an IED blast. You might have seen a very moving scene on TV a few days ago, in which the Beed Police were giving their canine colleague Rocky a final farewell with all due respect. Rocky had helped the police in solving over 300 cases. Dogs also have a significant role in Disaster Management and Rescue Missions. In India, NDRF, the National Disaster Response Force has specially trained dozens of dogs. In the event of an earthquake, building collapse, these dogs are experts in searching out people trappedunder debris.

Friends, I have also been told that Indian breed dogs are also very good and capable. Among the Indian breeds, Mudhol Hound and Himachali Hound are of excellent pedigree. Rajapalayam, Kanni,Chippiparai and Kombai are fabulous Indian breeds. They cost less to raise and are better adapted to the Indian environment and surroundings. Now, our security agencies are also inducting these Indian breed dogs as part of their security squad. In the recent past, Mudhol Hound dogs have been trained and inducted in the dog squad of the Army, CISF and NSG; Kombai dogs have been included by the CRPF. Research on the Indian breed dogs is also being done by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research with the aim to make them better and more beneficial. Search for these breeds on the internet and know more about them - The beauty and qualities of these breeds will leave you astounded! The next time you think of raising a pet dog, consider bringing home one of these Indian breeds. At a time when Atmanirbhar Bharat is becoming a mantra of the people, how can any domain be left untouched by its influence?

My dear countrymen, in a few days from now on September 5th, we will celebrate Teacher’s day. Whenever we think of the successes we have had during the course of our lifetime, we are almost always reminded of one teacher or the other. Thefast changing times coupled with the Corona crisis are posing new challenges for our teachers. I am happy that not only have our teachers accepted this challenge but also turned it into an opportunity. Ways to incorporate more and more technology in studying, ways to imbibe newer tools, ways to help students have been seamlessly embraced by our teachers... they have passed it on to their students as well. Today, throughout the country, innovation is underway in some field or the other. The students and teachers are collaborating to do something new. I am confident that the way National Education Policy is bringing about a tectonic shift in the nation and that our teachers will play a significant role in disseminating its benefits to our students.

Friends, especially my teacher friends, our country will celebrate the festival of the75th year of independence in the year 2022. Prior to Independence, our country’s war of independence has had a long history. During that period, there wasn’t any corner of the country where revolutionaries for independence did not lay down their lives or sacrificed their all for the country. It is imperative that today’s generation, our students remain familiar withthese heroes of our freedom struggle and feel the quintessence – in their own district & area; what transpired during the freedom movement, who laid down their life, who was imprisoned and for how long - When our students are apprised of the history of the freedom struggle viz-a-viz their local surroundings - - only then will we see the reverberations of it on the personality of the student. A lot of work in this direction needs to be done and our teachers shoulder a significant responsibility for it. For example, the district you live in, were there any events during the course of the freedom struggle in the past centuries? This could also become a topic of research for our students. A handwritten log for schools can be prepared... if there is any place in your town associated with the freedom movement, then a visit could also be planned for the students. Students of some schools can also resolve to write 75 poems and theatrical stories on the heroes of our freedom movement to mark the 75th year of our independence. Your efforts will bring to the fore stories of lakhs of unsung heroes - individuals who lived and died for the country but had faded into oblivion. In the 75th year of our independence, it will be a fitting tribute to remember and recognise the efforts of such individuals. With Teachers day to be observed on September 5th, I call upon all our teacher friends to start preparing and join hands to create an environment bringing everyone into its fold.

My dear countrymen, the country is on the path of progress on which it has embarked upon and this journey will only be comfortable if each and every citizen is a stakeholder in this process and traveller in this journey. For this to happen, it is imperative that each citizen remains hale & hearty and is part of our collective efforts to overcome Corona. Safeguarding our health by observing, “Do Gaj Ki Doori, Mask Zaroori” following social distancing norms and ensuring to wear masks will help us defeat corona. I urge you to follow these guidelines and I pray for your good health. Stay healthy and stay happy, with these wishes, we will meet again in the next edition of Mann Ki Baat.

Many many thanks.

Namaskar.

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PM Modi's interview to News X
May 21, 2024

In an interview to News X, Prime Minister Modi addressed the issue of toxic language in elections, explained why the Opposition frequently discussed him, and shared his views on job creation. He criticized the Congress' tax plans and appeasement politics.

Rishabh Gulati: A very warm welcome to the viewers of NewsX and India News. I’m Rishabh Gulati and with me is Aishwarya Sharma of The Sunday Guardian and Rana Yashwant. In today’s special episode, we proudly welcome a renowned ‘rashtra sevak’, and the Prime Minister of India in this Amrit Kaal, Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi. Mr Prime Minister, you took the time to speak to us, we are very grateful.

Prime Minister: Namaskar, my warm greetings to all your viewers.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, the first question that comes to mind is about the Opposition, and it seems that the biggest item on their poll agenda is Narendra Modi. Why, in your opinion, do they talk so much about Narendra Modi?

Prime Minister: To understand why they discuss Narendra Modi, we must first understand the Opposition. To understand them, one can examine the administration between 2004 and 2014.

The Opposition has not been able to play a strong role. Even as the Opposition, the way they are falling apart, they did not play a constructive role of any kind. Despite deep discussions, they haven’t been able to bring serious issues to the public attention. They thought that by their antics, taking up space in the media, they would be able to keep their boat afloat. Even in this election, I have seen that they make fresh attempts every day to acquire media space, be it by making videos, nonsensical statements, or behaving in a way that people don’t normally behave. So they do this to acquire space in the media. Now abusing Modi is one such antic, where, if nothing else, they are guaranteed publicity. Even a small-time politician, if he bad-mouths me, will get about an hour of media attention. Perhaps they see Modi as a ladder to climb up in their political career.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, the I.N.D.I. alliance is talking about wealth redistribution. Do you think this is possible, and will the voters of the country be influenced by such a scheme?

Prime Minister: You can’t examine this in isolation. You must look at their overall thought process. When their (Congress) manifesto was released, I had said the manifesto had the imprint of the Muslim League. There was a statement made by Dr Manmohan Singh… I had attended the meeting in which he said that ‘Muslims have the first right to India’s resources.’ Now when I raised this in public, their media ecosystem raised a storm saying that ‘Modi is lying,’. So two days later, I brought Manmohan Singh’s press conference forward and put it in front of them. Then they stopped talking. So this was one example. Now in their Manifesto, they have said that they will give reservation (to Muslims) even when allotting government contracts.

So today, when a bridge is to be built somewhere, what is the criteria for awarding the contract? The company bidding is evaluated based on how resourceful they are, their experience, their capability, their ability to deliver on time, all these things. Now they say that they want to give reservations to the minorities, to the Muslims, in this process as well. It all adds up. Now when they say that they will impose inheritance tax, it means that taxes that go to the government, who will stand to benefit from it? It’s the same people that Manmohan Singh ji talked about. If you join the dots, this is the logic that comes from it. How will the country accept this? Secondly, has any developing country in the world indulged in such madness? Today, India needs to work hard to rise above its problems. We have made this attempt and pulled 25 crore people out of poverty. Where there used to be a few hundred start-ups, there are now over 1.25 lakh start-ups, and there are Unicorns. You must go among the people and work with energy, and that will bring the right result.

 

Rana Yashwant: Mr Prime Minister, the Ram Mandir has been built in Ayodhya, the consecration of Ram Lalla took place and there was joy among the people. In all this, there is Iqbal Ansari, who has fought the legal battle, and is an important person. He comes, holding a placard that says ‘Modi ka Parivaar’. Today, the minority community identifies with your policies and welfare schemes. Your opinion?

Prime Minister: Since you’ve brought up Ram Mandir and Iqbal Ansari, I will narrate an incident. Ram Mandir should have been built right after Independence. In all these years, it wasn’t built because they (Congress) felt it would affect their vote bank. Attempts were made in the Courts till the very end to stop it. It is a fact that Congress hindered the building of the Ram Mandir. Despite this, when the Supreme Court judgment came through, the Court constituted a trust, and the trust members, let go of all past differences and went to invite the Congress Party members to the consecration ceremony. They rejected the invitation. The same people went to invite Iqbal Ansari. The ironic thing is, that Iqbal Ansari, who fought the Babri Masjid case his entire life, respected the Supreme Court’s verdict and attended the ‘Shilanyas’ and the ‘Pran Prathistha’ ceremony as well. This is what I think, as far as Iqbal Ansari is concerned.

Now if you want to talk about secularism, it is my very serious allegation, that for over 75 years, through a very well-crafted conspiracy, a false narrative has been fed to the nation. It has been embedded in the nation from before our birth. Sardar Patel was targeted by this narrative, and maybe, today it may be my turn, tomorrow someone else… Why do they cry out ‘secularism’ over and over again? It’s because they want to divert the world’s attention from their communal activities.

They cry ‘thief’ over and over when they have defrauded the people, and they do this because they think crying ‘thief’ will divert the public’s attention. This is their ploy. I have called them out in front of everyone, that they are the ones who are communal. India’s constitution does not allow you to indulge in such sectarian acts, and I have brought out several such examples, like I mentioned earlier that they called the Muslims the rightful inheritors of India’s wealth. I am exposing them. They (Congress) hide behind their politics of appeasement and instead accuse me of being communal. I am talking about those communal parties that wear the ‘nikab’ of secularism and indulge in hardcore communalism. I find three things common among these people. They are hardcore sectarians, they are extremely casteist, and they are hardcore dynasts. They are so full of these three things that they can’t come out of it.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have spoken about lifting 25 crore people out of poverty. 80 crore poor people are receiving ration – it is necessary now and will be so in the future as well. What do you have to say about how crucial it will be in the future?

Prime Minister: When Manmohan Singh ji was the Prime Minister, news was rife with reports of food grains getting spoilt. So, the Supreme Court asked the government as to why the grains were not being distributed among the poor. Manmohan Singh ji, who was the Prime Minister then, stated on record that they could not distribute the grains and that it was impossible to do it. That is the consequence of his thinking. I faced the same issue, especially during COVID-19. My first goal was to ensure that a stove should be lit in every poor household. So, I started working on it. I have stated this for the next five years as well because in the lives of those who come out of poverty…

For example, one returns home from the hospital. The treatment has been done but precaution is necessary. A doctor advises you to take rest for a particular duration after returning home, tells you what to eat and what to refrain from consuming, and what to take care of. Why? The illness has already been addressed, but if anything is jeopardized then the condition of the person would return to what it was. That is why poor people who escape poverty need handholding. They should not return to that state in any condition. Once they escape poverty, they should be empowered to stand strong. In my understanding, in the next five years, those who have escaped poverty should be able to firmly stand on their feet. Any unfortunate incident in their family, should not push them to poverty again. And only then will the country eradicate poverty.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, our country is the youngest country. Under your tenure, 10 lakh government jobs have been filled. Now, the Opposition has vowed to fill 30 lakh government jobs. In your third term, how do you plan to boost employment opportunities for the youth?

Prime Minister: You must have read the SKOCH report that was released. I hope your TV channel studies the SKOCH report in detail and conducts a TV debate on this. They have analysed some 20 to 22 schemes of the government. They have published statistics about how many person-year-hours have been obtained. They have revealed how many hours it takes to build 4 crore houses and how many people it employs. They have published data for about 22 different parameters.

They have stated that 50 crore people have accrued benefits. Secondly, we brought the Mudra Yojana. We give bank loans without any guarantee. We have disbursed loans worth Rs 23 Lakh Crore. 80% of those who have received these loans are first-timers. Some have started their businesses and have employed a few people in this process. Start-ups used to be in the thousands and now they are in lakhs. People have been employed in this process, right? Consider that a 1000-kilometre road is being built and think about how many jobs are created. So, if a 2000-kilometre road is being built more people will be employed, right? Today, road and rail construction has doubled, electrification has doubled, and mobile towers are reaching every corner of India. All this is being created by people who have received jobs. That is why a lie is being peddled.

 What’s important is that we must move towards creating jobs for ourselves. The youth in this country are in the mood to do something and be productive and we must help them. We must encourage them. Our Mudra Yojana does exactly that. We also run the SVANidhi scheme. There are countless street hawkers, who are poor people. But today, they are taking money from the bank to run their businesses. Due to this, they can save money and expand their business. Earlier, a street hawker would sit on the footpath and now his goal is to buy a lorry. One who would owned a lorry earlier now wishes to provide home delivery services. Their aspirations are rising. This is why I believe that while people receive the benefits of government schemes, which will eventually result in development, we must also focus on several other areas.

 

Rana Yashwant: Prime Minister, your government works on the principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Beneficiaries avail welfare schemes without any discrimination – caste, religion, or community. Yet, the Opposition maintains that Muslims do not accrue the same benefits from these welfare schemes.

Prime Minister: You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. The unique aspect of my government, in terms of delivering welfare schemes, has not raised any questions regarding discrimination.

 

Rana Yashwant: The Opposition has to say this.

Prime Minister: Even the Opposition does not say this. You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. I have never heard this from anybody because everyone knows… and Muslims themselves say that they receive all benefits.

The primary reason is that I have two principles. First, 100% saturation. For example, if poor people must be given houses, complete delivery must take place. If 100% delivery is the goal, then where does the scope of discrimination even arise? Whether it is providing gas connections, building toilets, ensuring tap water connections, I believe in 100% delivery. Yes, some people will receive the benefits in January, some in April and some in November, but the scheme will apply to all and 100%. I believe that true secularism is when 100% delivery is done. Social justice is when 100% is done. So, if my mission is 100% saturation… and nobody has made this charge yet. They don’t have the courage to say it. I have lived in Gujarat as well, and on this topic, nobody can prop up any charges against me.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have taken out time to sit with us and relay your ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Thank you so much. Best of luck for the polls ahead.

Prime Minister: I thank you all. I have been campaigning day and night…

 

Rana Yashwant: You are constantly on the move. We see you morning until night on the run…

Rishabh Gulati: Today, you had a big rally at 8 in the morning.

Prime Minister: I started my day at 6 am and went to Jagannath Puri temple to offer my prayers. Since then I have been traveling and have at last got time to meet you.

 

Rana Yashwant: Where ever you go, Jagannath or Kashi, there is a sea of people that comes to greet you. You have experienced it yourself.

Prime Minister: I realise that my responsibilities are now increasing. I also see that the public has taken ownership of elections. Political parties are not fighting the elections. The public has taken ownership of this election. And the results will be as desired by the public.

Thank you!